Beautiful

A few weeks ago I was in a workshop about removing the roadblocks to your goals. We were talking about a goal I’d set and the internal dialog that stops me from achieving that goal. At one point the leader asked me if I could say, “I’m beautiful.” I could not. As a matter of fact, trying to say it brought me to tears. It was days before I could even type that phrase without crying.

I’ve never thought of myself as beautiful. If I’m being really charitable I may consider myself cute. I do my best to make sure I look put together before I face real people (real people being those that live outside my house). Still, I can’t say that I ever think I look pretty.

Here’s the thing. In the past two weeks seven strangers have stopped me to comment positively on my appearance. Every one of the comments started with my hair. I have fairly distinctive red, flippy hair. I’ve had the same hair for several years, and it’s not rare for someone to comment on it. Seven comments in two weeks is a lot, though. Three of those women went on to say, “You’re a beautiful woman,” “You’re beautiful,” or “You’re a very pretty lady.” I was flabbergasted. Those types of comments are very unusual. They made my day.

Several years ago I got a compliment on a scarf I was wearing. It made me realize how much a compliment can mean to someone. Starting that day I made it a habit to say something if I noticed that someone was wearing a great pair of earrings, carrying a fabulous purse, or wearing a really flattering color. It changes the way they carry themselves. Their eyes light up. It’s wonderful.

One caveat—the compliments I give and get involve women. If they involved men it would be awkward and/or inappropriate. So, if you’re a man reading this I’m not suggesting that you go up to strange women and tell them how great they look. What I would suggest, though, is that you sincerely compliment the women in your life—your wife, your mom, your sister . . . Make them feel beautiful.

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